Authorities at state-run auditorium Mahajati Sadan here have cancelled the booking for an October 3 programme which RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was scheduled to attend, an organising committee member said on Tuesday.
“We booked the auditorium in June and furnished details of the programme. Sadan authorities informed us on Friday last that the facility could not be provided due to work to be undertaken at the auditorium,” Rantideb Sengupta, General Secretary of Sister Nivedita 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations Committee, told IANS.
An auditorium official said all bookings from September 26 to October 6 stood cancelled due to renovation work to be undertaken during the period.
Sengupta said they were looking for an alternate venue and would hold the programme on October 3.
Over the cancellation issue, Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy and Trinamool Congress’ MP Derek O’Brien indulged in a war of words on the social media.
“Mahajati Sadan was booked for Nivedita Mission Trust, in which PP Mohan Bhagwatji was to speak. Booking suddenly cancelled on a langda (lame) excuse,” Roy wrote on his Twitter page.
In reply, O’Brien said: “Ladies and gentlemen, he is the Governor of an Indian State.”
Roy said: “Those who cancelled Mahajati Sadan booking are so sick, no courage to say out loud the real reason. Instead, they give the stupidest of excuses.”
“Is this man really the Governor of a State?” the Trinamool MP responded.
Meanwhile, Kolkata Police in a tweet message said: “Reason for denial by Mahajati Sadan authority is 10-day yearly renovation during puja holidays. No renting of hall during the period.”
Condemning the booking cancellation, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) spokesperson Jishnu Basu told IANS: “This is a politically motivated decision. Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind organised an event on Triple Talaq at the same venue in the last week of August.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) West Bengal unit also claimed that permission for party President Amit Shah’s meeting at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata too was denied on the ground that the venue was “pre-occupied”.
“When we sought stadium’s booking a week ago for Amit Shah’s event, authorities rejected the proposal,” BJP national Secretary Rahul Sinha said.
“There have been many instances when permission for our party programmes was denied and we found that the proposed venues were not used on those days,” he alleged.